Tag | Scrum Posts

… is a great team. I guess everybody knows this. After all: creating software is a craft and you need good people to do that. If you ever get the chance, I suggest you visit some companies that create software. Go to a company that makes something you like and go to a company that makes something you really do not like. Then pay attention to the atmosphere and the attitude of the developers. You’ll notice a pattern: great software comes from great teams. Now, it is obvious that people who get to ...
Our team at AJI Software has been hard at work over the past year on certifications and projects that has allowed us to reach Gold Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program. We have focused on providing services that not only assist in custom software development, but process analysis and mentoring. I definitely want to thank each one of our team members for all their work. We are currently the only Microsoft Gold ALM Partner for a 500 mile radius around Kansas City. If you or your team is ...
I thought it would be interesting to blog out the evolution of our story cards. Several months ago I began work at a new organization that was implementing a variation of scrum. The used the typical post-it notes for stories. While the post-it notes were serving their purpose, there were a few area’s that we were having issues with: Some of the issues included the following: The post-it notes did not have a great stick quality. This meant that anything older than a few weeks was falling by the wayside ...
In the New Testament in Luke 4:23 Jesus speaks of a proverb, “Physician, Heal Thyself.” What, you may ask, does this have to do with being a good developer or a good ScrumMaster? In my experience, it has quite a bit to do with it, actually, and recently, it’s had far more meaning to me than it used to have in the past. In large part, my own increased awareness has stemmed from reading Lyssa Adkins fantastic book, “Coaching Agile Teams.” My Command and Control Roots My dad owns several independent ...
If you are familiar with scrum – then I recommend that you give the scrum guide a read. This documents the scrum framework and is maintained by Scrum’s creators, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. While reading through the latest revision of it (on page 6) it has a section that specifies the characteristics of the development team. One sentence that stood out was the following “Scrum recognizes no titles for Development Team members other than Developer, regardless of the work being performed by the ...
With TFS 2010 a basic installation of TFS has been reduced to a matter of clicks, the pain however lies in getting an appropriate environment provisioned from the Infrastructure team. There will be planned and unplanned downtime as the infrastructure team takes the environment down for patching. There are various TFS hosting services available out there that’ll take this pain point away from you. Some of the leading players amongst others include DiscountASP.net, TeamDevCentral, Praktik Hosting… ...
It's after midnight and I'm resting after a long vacation day with the family. What am I thinking about? Scrum, naturally.What I'm thinking about is this: Why don't Agile practices work on some teams? Why do some teams pick up Agile and run with it, and others either fail to pick it up or actively fight against it?It's taken me about two years to come up with the words to summarize my conclusion, which is stated in the introduction to many books on Agile and Scrum: Agile practices are what great ...
Spinning as described in my previous article is all about flow. Its premise is: flow can emerge when work is partitioned in small, evenly sized chunks processed in a smooth manner. There is a constant input of requests to the development team. A backlog is filled with strategically important requirements, support is reporting bugs, feedback requires changes, management wants to see ideas realized on short notice. Under these circumstances any plan becomes obsolete within a day or two. Or a lot of ...
A friend of mine works for a large bank… about a year and a half ago they needed a new system developed for their division. They went through the normal process of using one of the recommended service providers to develop the system and this was their experience, which is still typical with most institutions I know… For the first few months development of the system seemed to be progressing along fine. They had meetings, business analysts put things on paper and the developers nodded their heads ...
Agility needs to get onto the next level – that´s what I tried to explain in my previous articles. After a reality check – what´s missing from Agile practice? –, and some general musings about how a next level of Agility could look like, here now some very tangible suggestions. Crank up the frequency Current Agile practice is suffering from too little attention to Acceptance. To change this, very, very clear Acceptance dates need to be set. Acceptance can only get into a real pulling mode, if dates ...
In my previous article I came to a couple of conclusions based on the reality of software development, or should I say “the nature of software development”? Here are the – to me - undeniable facts of what our industry is all about: Customers hardly know, what they want. Any specification is inherently fuzzy and incomplete. What fits the customer´s needs can only be determined by actually trying it out. The customer can only recognize a running piece of software as acceptable. Because customers hardly ...
Let´s get real about software development: It´s never going to be a quietly flowing river. Never. And that´s why the current approaches to software development like XP, Scrum, and Kanban will always cause pain. Their basic assumption is you should be able to isolate a team for a while to work on features. Leave it alone during an iteration or a sprint to complete a set of features, or at least sit still until the current feature is done. Certainly that´s what we all want as developers: being able ...
UPDATED Jul 3rd 2013: Added Art of Unit Testing Version 2 UPDATED Apr 11th 2013: Added Instant TFS 2012 and Project Server 2012 Integration How-to UPDATED Jan 12th 2013: Added Prof TFS Server 2012, TFS 2012 Starter, Pro ALM with VS 2012 and VS 2012 Cookbook UPDATED Dec 8th 2011: Added Kanban book by David Anderson “Send me a list of books to read” – that is what I am often asked. No more, as this list is an answer to those request! I have divided it into different subject areas, and each area hold ...
When teams are first introduced to Stand-Ups, many teams will dread them. Their thought is, “Oh great! Yet another meeting to consume a bunch of my time!” I certainly understand this sentiment, and if run incorrectly, stand-ups are certainly painful and can be a waste of time. Stand-ups are fundamentally about coordination between team members and nobody else. To restate that, stand-ups are for the pigs, not the chickens! This post is to help you understand what a good stand-up is and how best to ...
1. The SCRUM must be short and NOT exceed 15 minutes daily. Achieve this with a Timekeeper. The Timekeeper role should rotate daily and the timekeeper should be fined $1 if the SCRUM does not start on time by opening the call in line and closing the door or if the SCRUM exceeds 15 minutes. 2. Team members must be on time for the SCRUM or be fined $1. To have productive developers, the SCRUM should be run at a reasonable time – a morning stand up should be a good way to share information and start ...
Is technical talent more important than Team Dynamic? I don’t think so. Read on and tell me if you agree. The Art of the Interview For my job, I conduct quite a few technical interviews. Rarely will I have a week go by where I’m not digging into someone’s brain trying to find out what they know and how they think. However, understanding their technical knowledge is only part of the challenge. We also must understand whether or not they code quickly, and whether or not they they will be a good fit ...
I’ve learned, from conference sessions and user group meetings, that Agile is best learned in action – being part of a game or activity that explains Agile, having lively discussion with people, or (best yet) being part of an Agile project. We still get a large amount of learning from books though, and so while Agile books may do a good job explaining the methodologies and techniques, its never as good as having some context to stand it up against. Enter Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken ...
Recently, I gave a presentation on Flow at Agile Executives. It was a fun meeting and a fun topic and lead to several realizations on my part. First, when Alistair Cockburn is in the audience, I get a bit nervous. Second, Lean and Agile aren’t incompatible, they’re complimentary. Let me explain. The Sterility of Lean Lean tends to think of people as nothing more than metrics. Cogs in the grand scheme of things. Little focus is placed on the human aspect of software development when talking about ...
Thanks to Brian Hurst and Microsoft for the fantastic Ken Schwaber/Richard Hundhausen talk at the Reston, Virginia Microsoft facilities in April. It was refreshing to see Ken Schwaber take a fundamentally different approach to "the Scrum talk". He focused on the body of software development research, and how the results of this research leads us towards certain sounds practices - which are also tenants of Scrum. I will blog more about some of the key points I took away from the talk, but for now ...
There have been some great announcements at the Tech-ed North America 2011. The announcements have been around, Enhanced User Experience Agile Planning Tools Lightweight Requirements Stakeholder Feedback Code Review Features Continuous Integration Agile Quality Assurance Aligning Quality Assurance Some buzz words you will be hearing overtime with vNext will be code review, search code blocks, my Work Hub, context switching, intellitrace in production, scom integration with TFS…. Agile Planning No ...
He who fails to plan, plans to fail. – unknown In many ways, one of the most dreaded tasks of every iteration is the Sprint Planning Meeting. This meeting is a very important meeting, but many, many things can go wrong and make this meeting a very long and very painful experience. However, this meeting is critical to the success of the team. If the team doesn’t know what they’re doing at the beginning of the iteration, how can they commit to getting the work done? To hopefully help ease the pain ...
This is my review of TFS Hosting: The current offer from DiscountASP is the same than other vendors like SaaS Made Easy, both offers a "basic" version of TFS2010, with similar capabilities about the Project Collections (just one) and Team Projects (unlimited), by the side of Disk Space and Price, SaaS Made Easy have a better offer five bucks less than the price of DiscountASP, for the same storage size (5GB) Under the SaaS model we could get easily Source Control, Version Control, Work Item Tracking ...
If you are going to be in the Washington D.C. area on April 28th, and you want to learn more about both Scrum, and how to utilize Scrum with Team Foundation Server 2010, then you really need to attend the free 1-day seminar, “Agile Scrum Development Practices with the Experts”. This event is being hosted by Ken Schwaber, one of the co-founders of the Scrum process, as well as Richard Hundhausen, who, in addition to his many qualifications, has helped develop the official Microsoft “Professional Scrum ...
*Moved to: My first Scrum team in the wildOver the last year I have invested a lot in Scrum. A few months ago I was assigned to teach a two day Scrum course for which I had to build and deliver the material. The team that received the beta of the course has now just finished their first sprint! Read more about My first Scrum team in the wildRead more...Follow my new blog on http://blog.hinshelwood.com ...
Lately I've been pretty critical of the Scrum process, primarily for not containing fail-safes for when things start to go wrong. I spoke with some pretty passionate Scrum Masters who told me, "Don't blame Scrum for a team's failure to adopt it." And I've reached the point where I agree. For any team considering Scrum I have this advice: If you are afraid of Extreme Programming understand you'll get limited benefits from adopting Scrum. You may get to a point where you work is visible and tracked ...
An important part of Agile is the concept of transparency and visibility. In proper functioning teams, stakeholders can look at any team at any time in the iteration or release and see how that team is doing by simply looking at what we call Big Visible Charts. If you’ve done Scrum, you’ve seen these charts. However, interpreting these charts can often be an art form. There are several different charts that can be useful. In this newsletter, I’ll focus on the Iteration Burndown and Cumulative Flow ...
William Pietri over at Agile Focus has written an interesting article entitled, "Agile’s Second Chasm (and how we fell in)" in which he talks about how agile development has fallen into a common trap where large companies are now spending a lot of money hiring agile (Scrum) consultants just so that they can say they are agile, but all the while avoiding any change that is required by Scrum. It echoes the questions that I've been asking for a while, "Can a fortune 500 company actually do agile development?" ...
Over the years, I have experienced many different styles of software development. In the early days, most of the development was Waterfall development. In the last few years, I’ve become an advocate of Scrum. As I talked about last month, many people have misconceptions about what Scrum really is. The reason why we do Scrum at Veracity is because of the difference it makes in the life of the team doing Scrum. Software is for people, and happy motivated people will build better software. However, ...
Working in an enterprise environment is a unique challenge. There's a lot more to software development than developing software. A project lead or Scrum Master has to manage personalities and intra-team politics, has to manage accomplishing the task at hand while creating the opportunities and a reputation for handling desirable future work, has to create a competent, happy team that actually delivers while being careful not to burn bridges or hurt feelings outside the team. Which makes me feel surprised ...
Bright Green Projects have an admittedly older blog post entitled Review of Agile Project Management Software | Scrum Kanban Methodology. Since I haven't had time to review Scrum project management tools in quite awhile, it was nice to find a write-up that's as succinct as this one. The thing I like the best about Bright Green's site, besides the product, is the vocabulary they use to describe Agile software development. For example, they couple Scrum with the development methodology they're using ...
Mario Cardinal, the host of the Visual Studio Talk Show, is quite happy these days. He works with the Urban Turtle team and they received significant support from Microsoft. Brian Harry, who is the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server, has published an outstanding blog post about Urban Turtle that says: "...awesome Scrum experience for TFS.” You can read Brian Harry's blog post at the following URL: http://urbanturtle.com/awesome ...
It’s with great pleasure that I can announce registration for Prairie Developer Conference 2011 is now open! This year we’ve expanded the conference to include more sessions, more speakers, and more technologies! Presenters are coming from across Canada and the US, and we have an amazing group of sponsors supporting the conference! One of those sponsors is Urban Turtle, a company that makes a Scrum add on for TFS. Each attendee will receive 5 FREE licenses for the product (a $450 value)! We also ...
It's all about Letting Go. I'm the Technical Director at an established Software-as-a-Service provider, and I've committed to, without giving away our intentions to any competitor, building a "dominant" online enrollment product that's going to convert our company from a regional turboprop happily cruising at altitude and calmly building up the operating account a little bit each month, into a squadron of deadly stealth fighters, streaking and blurring across the sky, firing lethal laser beams into ...
There is a growing consensus that the Scrum community should do a better job of promoting Agile engineering practices along with the project-level guidance provided by the Scrum process. I agree. But I feel cautious about a debate that seems based on the assumption that any Agile technique is the de-facto standard for developing software. It's true that Agile has been around for over a decade, but its adoption isn't a given. Many development teams have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Scrum ...
It's been interesting for me to dive a little deeper into Scrum after realizing how fragile its adoption can be. I've been particularly impressed with James Shore's essay "Kaizen and Kaikaku" and the Net Objectives post "There are Better Alternatives to Scrum" by Alan Shalloway. The bottom line: You can't execute Scrum well without being Agile. Personally, I'm the rare developer who has an interest in project management. I think the methodology to deliver software is interesting, and that there are ...
I am in the midst of witnessing a variety of teams moving away from Scrum. Some of them are doing things like replacing Scrum terms with more commonly understood terminology. Mainly they have gone back to using industry standard terms and more traditional processes like the RAPID decision making process. For example: Scrum Master becomes Project Lead. Scrum Team becomes Project Team. Product Owner becomes Stakeholders. I'm actually quite sad to see this happening, but I understand that Scrum is a ...
With the start of the new year, I’m starting new responsibilities at Veracity. One responsibility that is staying constant is my love and evangelism of Agile. In fact, I’ll be spending more time ensuring that all Veracity teams are performing agile, Scrum specifically, in a consistent manner so that all of our clients and consultants have a similar experience. Imagine, if you will, working for a consulting company on a project. On that project, the project management style is Waterfall in iterations. ...
Recently there have been more and more requests on how to have TFS 2010 and Project 2010 together. Most of the requests have been around working with Agile and Scrum projects and templates. There are some guidance documents that have become available and also labs and Virtual Machine configurations to work with the different scenarios. TechNet Virtual Lab: Microsoft Enterprise Project Management - Project and Portfolio Management with Project 2010 Announcing Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 ...
If you had downloaded the previous version of the virtual machines, then you are likely aware they are set to expire soon (12/15/2010). Brian Keller announced yesterday (blog post here) the availability of a vm refresh (new expiration set for 6/1/2011). What is part of the refresh? Here is the excerpt from Brian’s post: “ The version of this virtual machine which was refreshed on December 9, 2010, includes the following additions: · Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 · Team Foundation Server 2010 ...
There's an interesting discussion going on over on the Scrum Development list, dealing with technical stories verses user stories. The idea is that "Improve our continuous integration server" may not directly translate to visible functionality for a customer, so how do you handle this in Scrum. It's a conversation that pops up regularly and there are a couple of schools of thought on the subject. I'm not going to get into here. In the midst of this discussion I jokingly (sort of) made a reference ...
The main point of this post is to create an easy (for me) to find list of scrum / agile case studies. And here it is: http://agilepainrelief.com/... There is one specific entry from British Telcom that is especially interesting for those in the telcom industry http://www.magneticreason.c... ...
Agile is one of those super buzzwords that everyone knows. The problem starts when you ask people what it means. It seems that the more people I ask, the more answers I get. One of my standard interview questions is, what development process do you use where you are today? I am always frustrated when they say, we “do” agile. My canned response is “What does that mean?” Very few developers can answer that question. I get the standard, “we have daily meetings and we don’t do requirements.” That hardly ...
I just read again the book of F. P. Brooks , “The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering”, and can’t avoid create relations between his thinking and Scrum, specifically with the development of the Sprints. A sprint produces a visible, usable, deliverable product that implements one or more user interactions with the system. The key idea behind each sprint is to deliver valuable functionality. Each product increment builds on previous increments. The goal is to complete tasks by the sprint’s ...
The next Scrum Gathering is coming up and they are having 6 TED style talks. You can help make history by voting to have me present one of those talks I can hear you saying, "Well sure, Malcolm, what can I do to help you?" I'm glad you asked. It's really simple, click here sgnl.uservoice.com/forums/7... and cast 3 votes for my talk "Fortune 500 Scrum Coaching for the developer turned Scrum Master." Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE ...
Scrum is an agile framework that deliver an iterative and incremental management approach for software development. In the same way than Extreme Programming (XP), Feature Driven Development (FDD), and Crystal, Scrum provides an “Agile Approach” to build software using a set of practices that includes different artifacts such as Product Backlogs and Sprint Backlogs, “time-boxes” such as Sprint, Daily Meeting and predefined roles for the members of the Team (Team == all direct participants into the ...
Any ramblings and blog posts associated with the UNISA ICT 2622 tag should be considered study notes for my lectures… Objectives of Chapter 17 Explain the foundations for the adaptive development methodologies List and describe the features of the Unified Process system development methodology List and describe the features of Agile Modelling Compare and contrast the features of Extreme Programming and Scrum development Explain the importance of Model-Driven Architecture on enterprise-level development ...
Returning from paternity leave I found my co-workers had redecorated my cubicle in a relaxing, bamboo forest theme (complete with pandas). It's hard to see the loads of chocolate, the trickling water fountain, or the inspirational sayings on the walls. Very nice. Having so much time off helped me to contemplate the year-long debates I've been having about Agile. Mostly I struggle with the militant "Do Agile everywhere full-time" perspective I learned from the very first Agile books with the feeling ...
*Moved to: A change for the better #3 Over the last 11 months, I have worked for a fantastic group of people at SSW and on a fantastic array of projects. However, the time has now come to specialise in one specific area. I have worked with Visual Studio ALM since its launch in 2005 and more recently with Scrum and the Professional Scrum Developer course that launched in April. Therefore, to this end I am leaving my job as a Solution Architect at SSW for an ALM Consultant role at Northwest Cadence. ...
"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." George Smith Patton We talk a lot in the agile development circles about something evil and bad called "Command and Control." I've found that most people believe that the term comes from the military and that it means "massive top down planning combined with myopic micro-management." It's true, the term does come from the military, but the concept was meant to describe the effective foundation ...